Washington D.C. voters overwhelmingly approved marijuana legalization in 2014. Washington D.C. is on a list with eight states that have voted to end marijuana prohibition. But unlike the eight states, Washington D.C. is barred from implementing a system that regulates and taxes legal marijuana sales. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton took the Trump Administration to task yesterday over its support of the anti-home-rule rider which is what is preventing D.C. from allowing legal marijuana sales. Below is more about Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s objections, via a press release from her office that was released yesterday:
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today used an Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on reauthorizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which primarily focused on opioid policy, to challenge the Trump administration’s support of the anti-home-rule rider that bars the District of Columbia from using its local funds to regulate and tax marijuana sales.
Norton’s questions focused on how the harmful marijuana rider has expanded the underground marketplace for marijuana in the District. Possession of marijuana remains legal in D.C. because Norton found a loophole in the rider, which tried to block the District’s voter-passed referendum that legalized marijuana altogether.
“Allowing D.C. to tax and regulate marijuana would undermine the illegal marketplace in two important ways: 1) permitting D.C., instead of violent drug gangs and pushers, to control marijuana sales, and 2) keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and facilitating responsible marijuana use by adults,” Norton said. “President Trump and congressional Republicans are shamefully abusing congressional authority over the District by preventing the city from taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol, as the eight states that have legalized marijuana have done. The Republican anti-home-rule rider has unintended consequences that are the reverse of what Congress intended. The rider now acknowledges that possession is legal, but now encourages illegal underground sales, preventing D.C.’s ability to tax sales, and prevents D.C. from enacting regulations that would safeguard children and the public.”